If you’re into crypto, you’ve probably heard of FTX. Heck, even if you know nothing about crypto, you’ve probably heard of FTX. With a massive celebrity endorsement by Tom Brady, the larger-than-life story of its founder, and an NBA arena carrying its namesake (FTX Arena in Miami), FTX has made headlines over the past few years.
But while FTX is one of the largest crypto exchanges by volume worldwide, it has not had a huge presence in the U.S., until the release of the FTX.us exchange.
FTX.us is a cryptocurrency trading platform that is built “for traders, by traders” according to Sam Bankman-Fried, its billionaire founder. It offers a small selection of crypto to trade, but a wide selection of trading tools and features to satisfy the most advanced crypto traders. While the mobile app offers a slightly simpler way to purchase and trade crypto, the platform will overwhelm most beginners, and is purely aimed at experienced crypto investors.
(Not experienced yet? Check out our beginner’s guide to investing in crypto.)
Here’s everything you need to know to decide if FTX.us is for you.
What is FTX.us?
FTX.us is a U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange that is available in 49 states (except New York). It was founded in 2018 by crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, an advanced crypto trader who made billions trading Bitcoin during the 2017-2018 crypto bull run. He designed FTX as a crypto trading platform “for traders, by traders,” offering a huge selection of advanced trading tools and cryptocurrency, as well as rock-bottom trading fees.
While the FTX exchange enjoyed massive adoption across the globe, it hasn’t been available to U.S. residents. FTX launched the FTX.us exchange to offer services to those residing in the U.S., but has limited the cryptocurrency selection and trading features.
That’s not to say the FTX.us is a limited platform overall, as it offers more trading tools and cryptocurrency features than most other exchanges. With margin and futures trading, advanced trading, and a quant zone (programmatic crypto trading), as well as an NFT marketplace, FTX.us has more than enough features to keep even the most advanced crypto investor busy.
How does FTX.us work?
You can sign up for an FTX.us account using an email address and a password. You’ll need to select your location, including country and state (sorry, New Yorkers, you’re not allowed yet).
After verifying your email address, you will be asked to verify your identity to begin using the platform. Identity verification involves providing personal information (name, address, Social Security number), similar to signing up for a bank account. You may also need to provide a picture of a photo ID (like your driver’s license) and take a selfie of your face.
There are two main tiers of identity verification:
Tier 1: This tier involves submitting your name, birthdate, country, phone number, and street address. Tier 1 accounts are subject to daily withdrawal and deposit limits.
Tier 2: In addition to the tier 1 info, you will need to provide a picture of a photo ID (like your driver’s license) and take a selfie of your face. Tier 2 accounts have no daily withdrawal limits, and an increased daily deposit limit.
Once your identity is verified, you can fund your account to begin trading. To fund your account, you can deposit fiat currency, such as U.S. Dollars (USD), or send cryptocurrency from your digital wallet to the platform.
To deposit fiat currency, you will need to open your FTX wallet, and select which currency you would like to deposit. The supported currencies are:
- U.S. dollar (USD)
- Euro (EUR)
- Pound (GBP)
- Australian dollar (AUD)
- Canadian dollar (CAD)
- Swiss franc (CHF)
Once you select the currency you want to deposit, you can fund your account in a variety of ways, including wire transfer, ACH deposit, debit or credit card, SEN, and Signet (depending on the currency selected).
If you want to deposit crypto, you will use the same steps above, going to your FTX.us wallet and selecting which cryptocurrency you’d like to deposit. You will need to transfer the crypto from your digital wallet directly to the FTX.us wallet address listed.
Warning: The FTX.us wallet address will be different for each crypto. Make sure to deposit only that currency, as sending the wrong crypto to the wrong address will lose it forever.
Once your account is funded, you can begin trading. FTX offers standard and advanced trading, a derivatives platform, and even margin trading. Each platform offers a unique approach to cryptocurrency trading, and allows users to buy, sell, and exchange supported cryptocurrencies.
FTX.us is known for its low trading fees, and it also charges very few fees for deposits and withdrawals. This makes it an attractive option for advanced traders looking to keep fees low while executing a high crypto trading volume.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the fees on FTX.us:
Funding fees (USD deposits)
|Transaction type||Minimum deposit||Fee|
|ACH deposit||$0||$0.50 (for transfers under $100).|
|Signet (Signature Bank)||$0||$0|
|SEN (Silvergate Bank)||$0||$0|
|Credit/debit card||$0||$0.30 + 0.29% per transaction.
Other fees may be charged.
There may be additional fees charged by banking institutions when depositing or withdrawing from the FTX.us platform.
Withdrawal fees (USD withdrawals)
|Transaction type||Minimum withdrawal||Fee|
|Wire transfer||$0||One free transfer per week.
$25 per additional transfer (under $5,000).
$5,000 and above transfers are free.
|Signet (Signature Bank)||$0||$0|
|SEN (Silvergate Bank)||$0||$0|
|Credit/debit card||$0||$0.30 + 0.29% per transaction.
Other fees may be charged.
|Withdraw crypto||Varies by coin||$0 for non-ERC20 and OMNI.
ERC20 and OMNI coin fees vary by currency.
Maker and taker fees for crypto trading
Maker fees are charged when your trade order is not matched immediately but instead placed in the order book, which adds liquidity to the market. Taker fees are charged when your order is matched against an order already on the order book, which takes liquidity from the market.
|30-day volume (USD)||Maker fee||Taker fee|
|$0 – $100,000||0.10%||0.40%|
|$100,001 – $500,000||0.08%||0.30%|
|$500,001 – $1,000,000||0.06%||0.20%|
|$1,000,001 – $5,000,000||0.05%||0.15%|
|$5,000,001 – $10,000,000||0.04%||0.10%|
|$10,000,001 – $15,000,000||0.03%||0.08%|
|$15,000,001 – $30,000,000||0.02%||0.07%|
|$30,000,001 – $50,000,000||0.01%||0.06%|
FTX.us charges a 2% seller’s fee when selling an NFT in their NFT marketplace. There is also a $3 fee assessed to users that mint/list their NFT on the marketplace. There are Ethereum network fees (known as “gas fees”) when withdrawing an NFT from FTX.us to your digital wallet, though FTX subsidizes a portion of those fees.
FTX.us is truly a one-stop shop for your cryptocurrency needs and continues to expand its services to cover a wide range of features. From advanced trading tools to an NFT marketplace and even an interest-bearing crypto deposit account, FTX.us seems to offer it all. Here are a few of the standout features of the platform:
FTX Pay (crypto debit card)
FTX.us partnered with Visa to offer a crypto debit card, allowing users to swipe the card anywhere Visa is accepted and the purchase is made with their FTX.us account balance. You can select which crypto you want to sell when purchases are made, and users are not charged fees.
The FTX Visa card has a daily spending limit of $10,000 and a total monthly spending limit of $50,000. Users are also limited to $1,000/day for ATM withdrawals.
Read more: Best crypto credit cards
FTX.us is one of the few U.S.-based crypto exchanges that offer margin trading with up to 10x leverage. This means that you can make a trade by only posting 10% of the total trade amount as collateral, and the rest of the funds are borrowed. Margin trading allows you to make larger trades and potentially net higher profits — but carries the risk of amplifying your losses.
Margin trading also carries the risk of liquidation if the value of your trade drops too drastically. This means that FTX.us can sell your collateral to cover the loss on the trade, even while the position is still open. The high risk of margin trading means it should be reserved for advanced crypto traders only.
To qualify for margin trading, users will need at least $100,000 in assets on FTX.us, and may need to provide documentation to support this claim.
Options and futures trading
FTX is known for its derivatives platform, and FTX.us offers options contracts, swaps, and futures trading on select cryptocurrencies. This is one of the only regulated U.S. crypto derivatives trading platforms. FTX.us currently only offers derivatives trading for Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Crypto options allow users to trade call or put options contracts, with both offering long and short position contracts. This is an advanced trading strategy that will enable you to speculate on the market’s direction and essentially place a bet on which way you think it will go.
Crypto swap functions similar to options contracts, allowing you to buy or sell crypto within a specific time frame. The FTX.us swap feature only offers short-term contracts that allow users to place an order which executes at 4pm EST each day. The profit (or loss) is the price difference between when the order is placed and executed. These swap contracts can also be traded.
Crypto futures contracts are an agreement to buy or sell crypto at a specific price on a future date. These contracts are also tradeable.
Overall, FTX.us derivatives are an advanced trading product ideal for experienced crypto investors and professional traders.
FTX.us launched an NFT marketplace to allow users to buy, sell, and mint NFTs directly on the FTX.us platform. Both Solana and Ethereum NFT collections are supported, as well as FTX-minted NFTs that are listed on the marketplace.
You can place bids on desired NFTs and mint your own collection and launch it directly on FTX.us. A 2% seller’s fee is charged at the time of sale, and a $3 minting fee to create a new NFT on the platform.
Read more: Guide to buying your first NFT.
Users that want to earn interest on their crypto or USD can become a lender for margin traders on the FTX.us platform. To lend your assets, you must have them deposited on the platform and then select which one you want to lend, as well as a minimum interest rate to charge. If the borrowing rates end up above your minimum, your crypto or USD will be lent to a borrower, and interest will be paid out hourly. To withdraw your lent assets, you can choose to remove them from the lending pool, but they will not be available until the close of the hour.
Lending accounts are approved on a per-customer basis, and FTX.us has the right to determine if you are a qualified lender before approval.
Advanced trading and quant zone
As an advanced trading platform, even the standard trading interface offers a decent selection of trading tools. FTX.us also has an advanced trading platform and a quant zone for programmatic trading.
The advanced trading platform allows users to create a customized trading dashboard with a drag-and-drop interface and the ability to save customized layouts to your preference. The quant zone will enable you to program your own trading bot, using rules-based programs to create a trigger event and an action event. This allows you to create rules around when a trade will execute. For example;
- Trigger: when Bitcoin drops below $40,000 price.
- Action: execute $10,000 limit purchase.
Rules can be layered, and specific rules can cancel out others. The quant zone is one of the most advanced trading platforms available on any crypto exchange and is reserved for the most experienced crypto traders.
My experience with FTX.us
FTX.us is an advanced crypto trader’s dream platform. That being said, I am not an advanced crypto trader, and parts of the platform were too complicated for me. The trading interface was intuitive and familiar to me, similar to platforms like Coinbase and Kraken. The sign-up and account verification process was fairly simple as well.
The low trading fees are attractive, especially if you trade in high volumes. As someone who would primarily use the platform to buy and sell in smaller amounts, the fee structure was similar to other exchanges and nothing too impressive.
The derivatives trading platform was overwhelming, but there were learning videos front-and-center on the page, which would be great for users new to that type of trading. I would love to have seen a test trading account for that platform, allowing me to make a few test trades to understand the product better.
Overall, FTX.us offers a limited selection compared to other crypto exchanges I have explored, but I can see why advanced traders would enjoy using this platform.
Who is FTX.us best for?
Experienced crypto traders
FTX.us, like its parent platform, is designed for advanced traders through and through. With a vast selection of customizable trading tools, low trading fees, access to margin and derivatives trading, and even a bot programming platform, experienced crypto traders will feel right at home on this platform.
FTX.us makes it easy to mint new NFTs, and with a low 2% seller’s fee and only $3 to mint an NFT, artists looking to launch a digital collection can benefit from this platform.
Who shouldn’t use FTX.us?
New crypto investors
While FTX.us has gone mainstream in its advertising, it is not designed for newcomers to crypto investing. Even its standard trading platform may feel mind-numbingly complicated to users who have never purchased crypto before.
If you’re new to crypto, a platform like Coinbase, or even Robinhood, offers a much simpler user experience, allowing you to quickly purchase crypto without needing to understand charting or advanced order types.
Pros & cons
- Advanced crypto trading tools. Candlestick charting, live order books, and multiple order types give experienced traders the tools to actively trade crypto.
- Access to margin and crypto derivatives trading. Not many U.S.-based crypto exchanges offer margin and derivatives trading, so FTX.us is an excellent option for users looking to trade these products.
- NFT marketplace. WIth low fees and access to both Solana and Ethereum NFT collections, FTX.us makes it easy to buy and sell NFTs.
- Meager fees. With standard trading fees around 0.40% and fees much lower for high-volume traders, FTX.us is a great place to save on crypto trading costs.
- A small selection of cryptocurrency. There are only 25 cryptocurrencies available on the platform, even less for margin trading. This selection is well below most exchanges, which typically have 100+ cryptocurrencies.
- Too advanced for beginners. The trading interface is overwhelming if you are new to crypto, period. There is no “easy button” to trade on FTX.
FTX.us vs. competitors
|Fees (maker/taker)||Up to 0.00%/0.40%, depending on 30-day trade volume.||$0.99–$2.99, for orders below $200.|
1.49% - 3.99% for trades over $200.
Advanced: Up to 0.60%/0.60%, depending on 30-day trade volume.
|Up to 0.16%/0.26%, depending on 30-day trade volume.
0.90% - 3.49% for instant purchases.
|Trading options||Buy/sell, margin, futures/derivatives, lending, NFTs, interest accounts.||Buy/sell, staking.||Buy/sell, margin, futures, staking.|
|Funding options||Wire transfer, ACH, debit card, credit card, SEN, Signet, crypto deposit.||Wire transfer, ACH, debit card, PayPal, crypto deposit.||Wire transfer, crypto deposit.|
|Currency selection||25 crypto, 1 fiat.||160+ crypto, 5 fiat.||90+ crypto, 3 stablecoins, 7 fiat.|
|Verification process||Instant.||2–3 minutes.||Instant.|
Coinbase is the most popular U.S. crypto exchange. It offers access to over 160 cryptocurrencies and has a simple user interface that’s ideal for beginners. The Coinbase mobile app is probably the easiest way to buy crypto, and users can quickly deposit U.S. dollars and purchase crypto.
Coinbase does charge higher fees than FTX.us, with smaller transactions costing upward of 9%, but more significant transactions charge about 1.49%, the price paid for simplicity. Coinbase also offers a Visa debit card, similar to FTX.us, allowing you to make purchases with your crypto balance.
Coinbase offers a unique way to earn crypto, offering simple educational videos and quizzes on specific crypto projects, and rewarding users with the cryptocurrency to learn.
Kraken is similar to FTX.us in that it offers an advanced trading platform and access to margin and futures trading. It also offers very low trading fees and access to over 90 cryptocurrencies, ideal for advanced traders.
The fees on their “instant buy” platform aimed at beginners are very high, charging up to 3.49% for credit and debit card users. The order form is super simple to use, and the mobile app offers more of the same. Overall, Kraken is a popular exchange for beginners and advanced traders alike.
FTX has one heck of a marketing budget. With celebrity endorsements and even a professional sports arena named after them, there are a lot of eyeballs on the FTX brand. That being said, the FTX main platform is not available in the U.S., so the FTX.us platform is our only option. With only 25 cryptocurrencies to choose from and no simple order form for beginners, the platform falls short in a few areas.
But what it lacks in selection and simplicity, it makes up for in trading tools. Margin and derivatives trading on popular cryptocurrencies, customizable trading dashboards, and even a programmable trading tool is ideal for the most experienced crypto traders. Add the reasonable fees, and FTX.us is a quality platform for active crypto traders.
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